Art has always been an essential part of society from the very beginning. From the cavemen of the past to the new talents of today, art has been a way of transmitting feelings and emotions as well as ideas. As a well-renowned surrealist, Dali was infatuated with creating artwork that is uncommon and different. He poured human feelings of hatred, joy and sadness into his artworks by incorporating strange images of nude humans, animals with elongated legs, and lively objects. Art was a way for him to communicate to the world. Each of his works had a hidden meaning and symbolism to it, not to mention a certain motivation behind it. Nothing ever held him back from portraying his beliefs into paintings. Be it of religion or moralistic beliefs, it was a place where you are free to say whatever you want. That is the wonder of Art. It is where you use your mind, think profusely, and unintentionally gain knowledge and new understanding. Dali knew of the power of art and used it.
“You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life”. - Salvador Dali
Man is a curious mammal. People love sticking to their routine and believing in what they were taught. People rarely question their religious beliefs and the society they live in, however messed up it may be. It simply takes an image, no matter how mysterious or frightening it may be, to shake people up and get their attention. It has a way of attracting people to stop whatever they are doing and question it. Art is a way of awakening people from their slumber and telling them to change. There is no better
Orientation in Art
example than that of the notoriously famous Marilyn Manson. From wearing fetish clothing to outrageously controversial lyrics, Manson uses a form of art to portray an idea. As a musician, Manson’s goal is to shake up society, and he does so by being overly drastic with his lyrics. “The Beautiful People” is one of the songs he wrote directed to society’s sick infatuation with beauty and body image. In comparison, Manson isn’t that much different from Dali. Lyrics and artworks make people think and leave them with a message embedded in their minds.
Not all paintings of Dali’s give you a direct message upon first glance. Looking through the artworks that Dali has given us through the years, I find it hard to choose two with more meaning than the others. Each artwork talks about something and has something to offer. Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a pomegranate a Second Before Awakening by Dali, 1944. Situated in Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, this artwork was made with oil on canvas and is 15.9 inches long. Of many colors and design, this artwork was made in response to a dream his wife, Gala had. This painting has numerous meanings to it such as it being an interpretation of the Theory of Evolution as well as portraying Sigmund Freud’s sleep paralysis theory. It could basically be about Dali’s personal thoughts on dreams.
Second of the many paintings is The Poetry of America by Dali, 1943. Situated in Fundacion Gala, Spain, this artwork was made with oil on canvas and is 79 cm long. Muliple colors are used but the whole look of the painting is dark and bitter. It is mainly
Orientation in Art
about black slavery in America. . The suffering of slaves and the thirst for blood were main concepts behind the artwork. A sort of figurative art, drawn during the WW2 due to the thoughts Dali had of white and black citizens and the difficulties that may arise from it.
In association to the quote, these artworks are of controversial matter. Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a pomegranate a Second Before Awakening and The Poetry of America talked of issues that are the center of many debates and arguments. The theory of evolution has been debated upon since the birth of technology and the study of biology. Thousands of theories have been brought up concerning evolution, and it never ends. Black slavery has been the bulk of American history. It has caused hate and anger that also never fails to end. Who better than Dali to represent his take on these topics by creating distorted artworks? This brings me back to systematic confusion and its benefits. Why would he take controversial topics and overly emphasize them? For no better reason that to initiate change. He wanted to anger those close-minded people out there who oppose those in favor of change.
Confusion unintentionally makes you think harder. Salvador Dali's paintings allow you to do just that. He painted images that shocked people as well as dumbfounded them. That was his ambition and he felt a certain joy from it. He didn’t believe in ordinary works of art, but rare images that take you in to a world where you are immensely drowned in thought. It is step away from the real world and everything that is
corrupt and unjust in it, and a road into the prospect of change.